It’s Super Bowl time! The moment every football-lover awaits every year and the moment every ‘free tailgate food-lover’ awaits every year. You can probably guess which one I am. Indeed, I will eat all of your food and ask ‘how much longer until half time?’ every 10 minutes. Although the recent Patriot cheating scandal caught my attention, I’m not a football follower. As a recent (and, future) student, I’ve never had the time to really follow a sport, let alone develop a genuine loyalty to a team. Irregardless (straight from The Mean Girls Dictionary) I prefer basketball over any professional sport. (I’m open to any suggestions and a full analysis on which NBA team should be my favorite) Anyways, it’s the perfect time to explore alternatives to the regular and predictable Super Bowl Chili and chips and salsa.

Semi-Homemade Chicken Jambalaya

I wholeheartedly believe that one can never go wrong with a little Cajun food every now and then. Recently, I picked up an artisan Jambalaya mix and created and semi-homemade Jambalaya and great alternative to the traditional chili most people enjoy on game-day weekend.

Chicken Jambalaya - www.thedanareneeway.com

1 package of artisan Jambalaya Mix

6 cup water

2 cup vegetable stock

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 chicken breasts, raw

Follow the directions on the Jambalaya mix – In a large pot, bring water and vegetable stock to a boil (substitute 2 of the 8 cups of water for vegetable stock). Also add the appropriate seasonings according to the label. Press 3 cloves of garlic and into the boiling stock and lower heat to medium. Add additional seasonings – salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the stock and cover with lid.

In a large pan, saute the peppers, celery, and onion for 3 – 5 minutes then set aside. Cut chicken breasts into small dice-like cubes and, in the large pan,  cook done. Once the chicken has been thoroughly cooked, add the chicken and chopped vegetables to the large pan full of stock.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip is so good and easy to make. Just throw everything in a pot and call it dip.

Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip - Simply throw everything in the crockpot for the easiest, most effortless spinach and artichoke dip!

1 tablespoon olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon

1/2 small onion, diced

1 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach

2 cloves garlic, pressed

3/4 cup milk

6 ounces cream cheese, cubed

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated + 1/4 cup (optional)

1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, chopped and drained

Tortilla chips of your choice

In a medium sauce pan, bring 1/4 cup water and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and cook until done. Drain spinach squeezing out any excess water.

In a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes. Add cooked spinach and milk and continue stirring. Stir in cream cheese, Parmesan, and cheddar until fully melted. Remove from heat and add chopped artichoke hearts. Once fully combined, transfer dip to a serving tray. Garnish by sprinkling the remaining (1/4 cup) of Parmesan cheese as a top layer and serve with warm tortilla chips.

And, lastly, let us not forget the greatest Super Bowl moment of all time.

Click here for a full list of Dana Renée’s Recipes